Huckaby Judge May Be Taken Off Case

Huckaby's lawyers wants child's body exhumed

The judge who was scheduled to hear Melissa Huckaby's arraignment may be replaced or taken off the case.

Judge Terrence Van Oss, the judge who was scheduled to hear an arraignment for Huckaby on April 24, could have a conflict of interest because he was the witness for the prosecution in a capital murder case in which Tom Testa, a San Joaquin County deputy district attorney, was the prosecutor, according to

On April 24, Van Oss was scheduled to hear a possible motion for an independent autopsy and also a continued arraignment for Huckaby.

On Thursday, Huckaby's lawyer asked a judge to have Sandra's body exhumed to conduct a second autopsy. The request came on the same day thousands attended a public memorial for Sandra at a Tracy high school and a day after the girl's family laid her to rest in a mausoleum.

Public Defender Sam Behar argued that he wants his own autopsy since the rape allegation against Huckaby stems from the finding that the victim had suffered "genital trauma." Behar urged the court to act quickly because the body was deteriorating, saying a second autopsy conducted by an independent pathologist would take no more than a week.
"I believe and allege such an examination is extremely crucial and material to Ms. Huckaby's defense," Behar wrote in a court filing.

San Joaquin County Superior Court Judge William Murray Jr. refused to rule on the request Thursday, saying that decision rests with another judge assigned to Huckaby's case.

Friday morning, Huckaby's ex-husband said he was in "shock and complete disbelief" when his ex-wife was arrested for such a heinous crime.

John Huckaby told ABC's "Good Morning America" that he knew his ex-wife, Melissa Huckaby, as a carefree, nonviolent person, who he "could not see doing something like this."
The couple was married in 2003, separated a year later and divorced in 2005. John Huckaby said he hasn't talked to his former

"My initial reaction was shock and complete disbelief," John Huckaby told the ABC program. "It's not something you want to think anyone possibly (is capable) of doing -- let alone somebody that you knew and that's a mother of your child."

John Huckaby said their five-year-old daughter, Madison, who was a playmate of Sandra's, is in a "safe place" and doesn't know anything about the case.

Melissa Huckaby was awarded sole custody of Madison after the couple's divorce. In divorce papers, Melissa Huckaby accuses John Huckaby of child abduction, domestic violence and alcohol abuse. John Huckaby denies the allegations.

John Huckaby said his ex-wife suffered from depression but was not a violent person.

He also said he hopes the allegations aren't true.

"Mainly for my daughter," he said. "I do not want my daughter growing up with that type of legacy to look forward to."

Attempts by The Associated Press to locate John Huckaby were unsuccessful.

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